Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 23, 2014

Welcome! Local tourist season opens today

TAHLEQUAH — Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off a busy summer season in Tahlequah, with visitors flocking to the area to enjoy the Illinois River, Tenkiller Lake, the local parks and other entertainment

Barbara Kelly, co-owner of Diamondhead Resort on Scenic State Highway 10, said the business is prepared for a busy season, and she’s glad so much interest has been generated in their camp.

“I think it’s going to be a record-breaking year for us,” said Kelly. “This weekend, we have every motel room, every bunk and every electrical camp site booked. The river levels are running about 3 to 4 feet in our floating area, which is prime for every level of floater, from beginner to expert.”

Diamondhead will feature live bands throughout the weekend, along with a new addition to the site.

“We’ll be having the grand opening of the Diamondhead Gravel Bar & Grill,” said Kelly. “It opened Thursday, and we’ll be serving guests Friday through Sunday.”

The grill is immediately behind the office, and will offer adult beverages as well as a full menu.

Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Administrator Ed Fite expects high traffic on the river this weekend.

“River conditions appear to be good, and the water levels are just a tad below normal,” said Fite. “It should be a great weekend for water recreation, whether that be floating, fishing, boating, whatever. I think most of the float operators are ready to go.”

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tenkiller Lake said they’re gearing up for what appears to be a very busy weekend. The campgrounds are expected to be full, and the weather forecast calls for mild weather. Water levels are within the normal range, meaning the lake will have its fair share of boats.

The Corps is teaming up with the National Safe Boating Council to promote safe boating throughout the holiday weekend.

“Throughout the year, hundreds of people drown or die in boating accidents and the majority of the deaths could have been prevented,” said Pam Doty, National Water Safety Program manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “We want you to come out and enjoy your national lakes and rivers and return home safely, so please wear a life jacket and be boat-friendly.”

The Tahlequah Farmers’ Market continues this Saturday, and will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, in Norris Park. TFM President Marla Saeger is excited about sharing the vendors’ wares with visitors.

“We want to invite anyone who plans to visit our market,” said Saeger. “We’ll have fresh, local meats, cheeses and bread, along with all the fresh produce our vendors provide. Not only do we have food, but we’ll have jewelry, soaps, wooden toys, just all kinds of interesting items. Oh, and the lady from Chilango’s will be there with her tamales.”

According to the TFM Facebook page, four different types of tamales are offered, including pork, beef, chicken and strawberry.

tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

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